I'm bummed about this whole situation.
I have to say with the exception of a couple posts here when ES was obviously frustrated and full of raw emotion, I completely understand and respect his position.
It's clear at this point it's not about the hardware or the machine, it's about his frustrating experience regarding service, and his desire to end his relationship with the company that he feels hasn't been responsive to his concerns. Lost confidence isn't something easily recovered.
I greatly appreciate his ability to see hardware issues happen with all computer companies, so he won't be slagging AW's product as the vast majority of their computers don't have any issues, let alone major issues as ES had to deal with regarding the psu and the list of hardware it apparenlty cooked.
I also can see AW's perspective to a degree. Technically, they're completely fulfilling their warranty obligation by offering a replacement machine. AW attempted two repairs, and believes the third has solved the issues, but they're aknowledging that the customer feels three tries is an unreasonable amount of repair attempts, so they're offering to replace his machine with a brand new one of the same spec. The warranty does mention this after a reasonable amount of attempted repairs, or a full refund at AW's discretion. I'm sure the full refund has been ruled out at this point as the number of tries to repair the system has been few, but they've also put a lot of effort and cost in diagnosing and replacing hardware to make sure they delivered the product that was promised.
Building a complete new rig with the same spec hardware would cost them a considerable amount of overhead and hardware costs, and the current machine wouldn't be able to be sold as new, so they wouldn't recoup the loss there. I don't think most people understand the costs involved in a case like this, or the small margin for profit AW has with their overhead costs, but from the customer perspective that's not the customer's problem. ES never should have had to deal with any of this in an ideal situation. And don't forget, the customer is always right...
And as shown here, if they offered to build ES an upgraded rig with better processor and vid cards or something similar for his trouble, then everyone with issues would demand the same thing regardless of whether their machines were problematic or not. If you've ever worked in support, you know the vast majority of problems are software, or operator related. That doesn't stop customers accusing companies of ripping them off and sending substandard "crap" to them, and demanding brand new upgraded machines in the return mail. This obviously isn't the situation here, but companies have to be careful to be as fair as they can, fulfill their obligations as best they can, and be consistent with their customers and their expectations.
There does come a time though that the bottom line can be deceiving. I have to say I was kind of surprised at the amount of people that said this issue would prevent them from buying another AW, and even some that said they'd cancel their current orders, especially those that have had good experiences with AW themselves. I myself have had a great ride with Alienware, and though problems do come up for some customers, it's rare they aren't addressed better than ES's concerns were. I still believe situations like this are rare with AW, but that doesn't really help you if you're the one with the problem...
I think at this point, though the machine has been serviced three times, that due to the circumstances of the time involved, ES's continuing to raise concerns about the psu with AW during the development of further hardware issues, and the promises of shipment that cost ES wages due to taking off time from work to accept a shipment that was promised but not fulfilled, that it would have been in AW's best interest at least to make themselves available to communicate with a rightly frustrated customer. That might have changed the way this played out considerably.
In addition, I think extending his warranty six months due to concerns for the hardware and the time he's been without a properly working computer would have been a good offer regarding compensation, and would have perhaps helped to restore some confidence that AW support wouldn't abandon him without making sure all the issues were resolved.
It's been my opinion for a while, that the lack of responsiveness to communications is a real problem for AW, and over the years it's apparently gotten worse though I've seen them take action to try to address it. I have to say that they've improved in some ways, like automatic emails regarding order status and confirmation, delays due to inventory, or emails guiding you through the depot process, but it's very difficult to get reliable information on the phone regarding orders and repairs. People that call five times a day to ask how their machine is coming along don't help matters any either. Though AW has sales, customer service and tech support at the call center, I don't think they are set up for efficient phone updates on orders or warranty claims.
I sometimes also wonder about the computer notes in a customers files and records of calls and support exchanges. I've seen occasional comments from people that get different answers for the same question at times, that some are told there's no record of some previous support issues, and get assurances that don't pan out...
This happened to me once, when I was told I'd have upgrade parts in my hands on a Friday and the parts had shipped, so I cleared my weekend to do the extensive upgrades, install all my hardware and play with my new stuff. The shipment didn't arrive, and I was pissed to learn on Monday that the shipment was still on AW's loading docks. It seems that they used to say things had shipped when it would have been more accurate to say things had been sent to shipping and would go out asap. Most all of my dealings with Alienware have been efficient and trouble free though, and I've made several purchases there that have turned out very positively.
I do appreciate that AW is making an effort to address the customer by offering to build a completely new system for ES, but the window of opportunity has obviously passed regarding this customers ability to be happy with the system as ordered after all the issues and time involved, and he clearly has lost the desire to continue his frustrating relationship with his machine and support.
Computers are funny. You can save a lot of money by cutting back on a few pieces of hardware, but to have a system that is the state of the art, even as short lived as that is nowadays, you have to pay the premium.
ES paid that premium, but he doesn't feel he got to have the few months of use of a machine that should have been state of the art. Offering a brand new system of the same spec six months later, considering the frustrations he's been through won't address that concern. It does though fulfill Alienware's obligation to ES, and they may even feel they're being magnanamous by offering the new replacement at this stage due to the low number of repair attempts, and their belief the system is now fully functional.
I have a lot of respect for ES, and I can't question his position, as I've not experienced what he has. As I've dealt with legal issues myself, it's upsetting to know he more than likely will have more frustration from this issue, and that's really a shame. And I can't say either that had I had the same experience he had as my first experience with the company, that I'd maintain my cool as well as he has.
Best of luck ES, I hope you get some satisfaction out of this and can move on quickly without dwelling on the frustration. I also hope that your next computer experience is perfect, whether you build your own or order from another company. I also hope you continue to hang around here and this forum doesn't remind you of the frustrations you've had to endure.